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What to do when cats hiss/growl at each other?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
This is a follow up post to a prior post (note to Hissy, I assume it is OK to post a new thread because it has to do with dealing with aggression rather than the cause). At any rate I have three spayed, female cats. Essie, age 4, is the mother of Stinkerbelle and Mukluk (both 3 years old). I have had them for about 2 and a half years and all got along great until last Saturday (5/14) when Essie went ballistic and attacked Stinkerbelle. After all three went to the vet on Monday (the 16th) and were deemed healthy, as recommended by the vet, I installed a feliway diffuser in the living room (two bedroom apartment) that day. I have also been using feliway spray 1-2x daily in the two bedrooms. My cats have settled down to some extent (most recently, 12 hours of getting along together) but I am still having episodes of growling and hissing (and two more "ballistic" attacks in which case the cats were immediately separated). Stinkerbelle seems to be most likely to growl at Essie, Essie responds by becoming aggressive, Mukluk will hiss if the other cats get aggressive, but she does not seem to start things). My question is, should I immediately separate them when they growl or hiss at each other- or should I wait a few minutes to see if they settle down? So far if it looks like an attack is imminent, I have been separating them, other times the growling and hissing abates and they seem OK after that. If it does not seem like an attack is going to happen should they be separated anyway? If so, how long should they be kept apart? Assuming I continue having problems with aggressive behavior among these cats, how long should I wait before considering some type of medication for one or more of these cats? They have a follow up with the vet on June 6th. Thank you in advance for any advice that can be offered.
post #2 of 5
Hmmmm, I haven't the foggiest idea! But, good luck!

:bump: for some help.
post #3 of 5
My two often clash; there is a lot of hissing, yowling etc and the bigger one will pin the other down and try to bite her neck. I used to worry about it & try to separate them, but when I saw the smaller one going back for more one day I started to wonder if it really was aggression. Surely if she had just been duffed up she wouldn't go back for more? i do still worry if the hissing etc. gets too loud & violent, but I've come to the conclusion that with these two they are playing (roughly) and enjoying themselves.

Whatever it is, I too wish you luck with yours. Hope you have a more peaceful life.

post #4 of 5
Mine play-fight all the time, just about daily. Dusty growls if any of the other cats come near her --- even her 13 yr companion, Snickers --- she will growl & swat at any of them. She hates other cats & just adores us humans. It's just "her".

My two alpha males are Snickers & Hammie, the oldest & youngest... they seem to love each other and are both really frisky, they play in the same manner (wild & bonkers), yet when they fight --- watch out!!! I have to separate them or else there's fur flying everywhere and it looks violent. But, it's not; they've never broken skin or gouged out an eye or torn an ear. They are just playing.

I usually just let mine do their thing. Gets it out of their system. They sleep most of the day away, anyway, sleep all night on me, except for the occasional sing-song going on in the basement by Snickers or Hammie when they're totally bored. Anyway the times they do play like that, fighting or whatever? It's just instinct, and they're just having fun. I think your cats know the other cats aren't trying to kill them... they're just roughing up & being cats!!!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. This does not seem to be play fighting (as an example, Stinkerbelle has literally "had the sh#t scared out of her" twice when Essie attacked her). And in one of the attacks, when I picked Stinkerbelle up to prevent Essie from harming her, Essie bite my ankle really hard and drew blood (my Doctor put me on antibiotics two days after I was bitten because my ankle was swollen and infected). When I say ballistic, I mean the cat seems to have gone crazy (loud angry yowling and aggression). For more info on the history of the problem you might want to read my prior post "help, sudden aggression among cats who never fight." I think Stinkerbelle has become aggressive toward Essie since this all began because she is so afraid of her. The initial incident occurred 5/13 and since then (today is 5/25), I have not allowed the cats to be together unless I am watching them. I am just hoping that at some point, things might return to normal.
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